fit healthy dog

Top Tips to Keeping Your​ Dog Fit and Healthy

In Dogs, Pet Health by Emotional Pet Support TeamLeave a Comment

Our dogs are our fur babies, cuddle companions, and best friends. We shower them with treats, buy them every toy their heart’s desire, and provide the ultimate in sleeping accessories. As we spoil and love them, however, it is also our responsibility to keep them fit and healthy.

As obesity rises among humans it’s also becoming a problem for our pooches. An overweight dog has higher risks of negative health problems in their life while an active dog benefits from a faster metabolism, better muscle tone, a regular digestive system, and less stress overall. A dog’s natural instinct is to hunt and play, and it’s our jobs as their owners to get them up and doing those things.

We all want to be responsible dog parents so below are a few tips for keeping your pup fit and healthy

Talk to the vet

The first step in setting up a healthy lifestyle for your dog is by talking to your vet. Have an honest conversation about your dog’s current habits and how to improve them. Discuss their overall health, age, breed and how that all plays into your care of them. Most importantly, consult with a vet before tossing your dog into any vigorous exercise. You might want to hike that mountain, but your dog may not be ready for that.

Start being a picky eater

Not you, per se, but it’s time to get picky about what dog food you’re ebuying. They aren’t all made from the same ingredients, and it’s important you learn to read the labels. If you see things like corn and wheat gluten, meat by-product, grain meal, rendered fat, BHA, or BHT, put it back on the shelf. Also, be sure to check the fat content. You want to aim for between 12 and 16 percent. Be aware of overfeeding, too. That’s the number one cause of obesity in dogs so ask the vet the proper amount of food to give at meal times and be sure they aren’t sneaking treats from the kids or eating other dog’s meals.

Commit to daily walks

The easiest way to get your dog moving is to take a walk every day. If this is brand new to your dog, start small. Fifteen to twenty minutes is enough to begin seeing benefits. If you start having trouble getting up and doing it every day, just remember how good it is for both you and your dog. Make it a family activity or pair it with some off-leash play at a dog park. Your cuddle buddy deserves it

Even in inclement weather

Look, no one is dying to go outside and walk around in the summer heat. But it’s important to maintain these healthy habits even in inclement weather. During those months of extreme heat, however, there are ways to make your dog more comfortable. Avoid the hottest times of day and take your walks early in the morning, late in the afternoon, or in the evening – the occasional night-time walk can be a nice change of pace so long as you take safety precautions. Be sure to keep your dog extra hydrated this time of year and evaluate all pavement and hot roads – if you wouldn’t walk on them barefoot, your dog probably shouldn’t either. And if you have a dog that loves the water, avoid the walks altogether by letting them get their energy out in a kiddie pool out back or running through the sprinklers.

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